Monday, August 15, 2011

Broad Strokes

Last week I mentioned the sad state of sartorial affairs on the streets of our beautiful Paris. Since it is my mission to help those in dire need of dressing assistance, I flipped through a few spring/summer 2011 collections to select a smattering of items one could comfortably (read stylishly) wear in Paris, Rome, New York, London -- any city in the world.

Before you jump to false conclusions, the idea is to show you "broad strokes" or ideas. I'm not being literal. You can see built into each of these ensembles is an idea any one of us can take into our own wardrobes and come out with something similar.

I would suggest, since we're talking about walking about in cities that the shoe issue would take a re-think. Ballerinas are always an excellent choice as are derbies. A small wedge perhaps? An espadrille?

I plan on doing this another day. It was so much fun. Then we'll talk about packing. I would love it if you would share any of your special packing secrets for all of us to use and enjoy. If you have a blog I will definitely link back to you. Merci par avance.


helen tilston said...

This is a great concept Tish.

I like it - it provides an overall style and co-ordination.

Definitely good ballet flats are my favourite investment and always be kind when travelling, hold doors - let people go first.

Helen xx

Mo said...

Ah packing, starts off exciting but soon gets boring. When I travel with work we are usually on the move every couple of days. My blog post describes what makes my life easier.

Mary said...

My favourite packing secret is packing cubes which are available from Eagle Creek and I also own some from Heyes. I pack for a family of five often and I can easily pack most of the kids' clothing in one cube each. I use different colours for each child. When packing for myself the cubes are organized by function. One for underwear and bras, bathing suits. Then one for t shirts and blouses, etc. Its very handy because eventually one cube can be used as a laundry bag when you return home

Villette said...

I love all the clothes, Tish, especially the shirt in the first pic. But I was wondering this: of course I would bring my Repetto ballerina flats on any trip, but is there any kind of walking shoe that a Parisienne might wear for serious city walking? I know Mephisto and Camper are very unglamorous. But for a six or seven hour walk around the architecture of Paris, Repettos would not quite be the thing. What would a Parisienne do?

Pearl said...

I experimented with the Eagle Creek cubes and while I like them, I didn't find they changed my packing. But I pack solely for myself: I used them to hold underwear (one color) and t-shirts (second color), because those are the staples I most often have multiples of. Once I arrive, I use them to store dirty clothing (thus separating it from clean) and getting myself prepared for laundry. My biggest packing "secrets" are two: a/ have a closet with only clothes you love that mix and match, and b/ make a realistic list--given the number of days traveling and defined needs (like business, conference, waterpark). Mostly comfortable shoes with one dressy pair (unless you're camping, say). And for walking in Paris, I do wear simple sandals or Repettos, but plan to stop and sit in a cafe, a garden, a gallery. Most museums and monuments in Paris thoughtfully offer such things, and planning to spend half an hour sitting in the Tuileries or the cafe at the Musee de la Vie Romantique is no hardship.

Karena said...

Tish great ideas. Patricia (Mrs Blandings) wore Toms on her Paris trip and said they were very comfortable for walking.

I like to choose a color palette, maybe black/ gray and white. Then use scarves and jewelry, tees for the pops of color.


Art by Karena

kathy peck said...

As I was just in Italy, I would like to chime in to Vilette's question about chic serious walking shoes. I've noticed every time I've been to Italy, that very chic women and girls who work in high end shops, often wear Hogan's, which is a part of Tod's shoes. I own a few pairs, they look great, are very comfortable and supportive for walking, and evidently quite chic. Because they have a wedge, they make your legs look great too.

Chicatanyage said...

For minimum packing maximum mileage I plan around 2 neutrals that go with each other plus 2 other colours. Some chic combinations are navy & black (yes they can work together) grey & cream or layered up shades of flattering pastels. If you stick to this fomat like a magician you can turn 6 garments into 24 outfits.
I think I got this tip from a very good article by Lucia Van der Post for the FT Magazine!/articles/1716-travel-fashion

German Gems said...

I like seeing fashionable items that "real" people can wear.

In Germany, cobblestone streets make shoe selection difficult, but some of the German manufacturers have choices that aren't quite like French fashions, but are worth a look. Those include Romika, ara and Josef Seibel.

I am a little bit more economical and use zip top bags instead of packing cubes; keeps things very organized.

My other trick is rolling instead of folding. No more creases.

And, always lay out your clothes before you go, make sure everything goes with everything else then check to see everything fits in the bag, with room to spare.

Louise @ cosmetic bee said...

I agree, a good pair of ballet flats (preferably with arch support) is a must for travelling and still looking chic. So much nicer looking than wearing clunky walking shoes/sandals!

When it comes to packing a wardrobe, I pick things based on versatility and ease of care (nothing that wrinkles easily or needs dry cleaning). I lay out separates - a few pairs of pants/skirts and some tops - and then try to maximize the number of outfits from the minimum number of separates. My goal is to have the suitcase only about 2/3rds full so there is room for the shopping!

Louise @ cosmetic bee

Class factotum said...

Ziplocks, ziplocks, ziplocks. You find great cheese and how do you get it home without it getting your clothes dirty?


I take only half the underwear I will need because u/w can be washed in the sink with shampoo and bar soap. That leaves more room for cheese and other local goodies.

I take paperback books from Goodwill, where they cost under $1. When I am through reading one, I leave it on the plane or wherever I happen to be.

Angel Jem said...

Two weeks in Paris and my saviours were linen trousers and a red pair of Birkenstocks that I wore nearly every day. But what I had most was chino envy of the French ladies with their capri length chino, vest and loose shirt look.

the gardener's cottage said...

i LOVE the first outfit in your post. i'm a minimalist when it comes to packing. just a few pieces of clothing that can be changed up with accessories. i only do a carry on. never check luggage. i want to relax when i'm away!

Cynthia said...

Oh, I appreciate that this blog exists. I will follow as so not
to miss the words of wisdom posted
and the lovely clothes.

une femme said...

When I travel, it's all neutrals, and almost everything can be washed in the sink. I'm a big fan of Eileen Fisher silk jersey pieces, and absolutely *lived* in a pair of fluid palazzo ankle pants from Babette on our trip to Italy in May.

As far as shoes go, I have to have something with good arch support. Repettos are pretty but aren't for all day walking. Ecco mary janes and Mephisto sandals were what I primarily wore on the last trip.

Mary said...

European travel for me is a lot of walking and sightseeing. Last time I went, I lost 20 pounds (from all of the walking, no doubt!)I, too, wear attractive, all leather (breathability) maryjanes as I feel they give me the arch support and ankle support for long distance trekking (in cities, only)!
I, too, only take my items in a carry=on and resort to purchasing another valise or suitcase if I overdue the shopping for the return trip!
Knits only, color-coordinated, rolled and in zip-lock bags! Works great!

Mary in Oregon

*Chic Provence* said...

I learned the BEST packing tip... take a hanger, put a plastic dry cleaning bag over it, then start "dressing" it with layers..first a pair of pants, then a tank top, then a shirt, then a sweater, then a jacket over that; include the scarf you would wear with this outfit..then top the whole thing off with another dry cleaning bag. Fold into thirds (or you could roll it), place in suitcase. When you get to the hotel, simply take the hanger out, give a good shake, and hang in the closet...voila! complete outfit, almost no wrinkles... I was so happy it worked so well on last trip to France in April!! Repeat with two more "outfits" and you are done... it's very effective and so simple!



Mrs P said...

It's ironic that although I love travelling, I hate packing. I have this fear that when I get wherever I am going, I will not have the perfect thing to wear for each occasion, especially when there are considerations about the weather and footwear (I am not going to say comfortable because I don't wish to sound like an old lady). I hate the thought that there is something at home which would have been ideal, if only I had packed it. On top of that, now we have to restrict the weight and size of our luggage on most European flights there is an additional economy to consider. I just have to tell myself it is more about enjoying where I am than what I am wearing (but don't you feel down when your clothes don't feel right?)

TweedLiibrarian said...

I love this post! I'm still trying to find my traveling style. We walk and walk many miles a day on our trips, so finding cute, comfortable shoes is a challenge. I love the look in the first photo but I hate having to iron on trips. I'll definitely try Chic Provence's trick with the hanger!
I posted about a packing challenge before my last trip: Your post inspired me to blog about what worked:

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